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Engineers have been working on a way to convert the waste heat in your car’s exhaust into energy for some time now but so far attempts haven’t been very successful. The exhaust gases can reach up to 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s difficult to design generators that can withstand that much heat.

Well the folks over at General Motors have reported that rare earth metals and super-strong alloys could be used for those purposes, and are putting various compounds to the test right now, and so far they’ve managed to design a generator that improves fuel economy by 3%, according to initial tests. Not very efficient when you take into account the rare earth metals required to build it.

Well, it’s going to be a few more years before these guys find the right combination of material that improves the fuel economy enough to be worth installing, so in the meantime drive conservatively, keep those tires inflated to the right pressure, and so on to save fuel.Find out more.

Filed in Green >Transportation. Read more about Cars, Energy, Gm and Transport.

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